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Winter Hotel Guide: Where the Stars Stay in Los Angeles, New York and Beyond

Whether for a business meeting, a private event, or an intimate celebration for family and friends, these are the hotels that Hollywood keeps on its list. From storied properties that are rich in film and fashion lore, to new players on the hospitality scene, here’s where to book your next stay.

1. Hotel Shangri-La (Santa Monica)

shangri-la-hotel-santa-monica
CREDIT: Shangri-La Hotel

One of the early jewels of the Santa Monica waterfront, the Hotel Shangri-La is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2019 and just underwent an extensive $30 million update that pays homage to the hotel’s Art Deco heritage. Most recently, the hotel served as one of the main TV filming locations of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” and, according to the hotel’s CEO and creative director, Tamie Adaya, Versace himself was known to frequent the hotel during the 1980s, along with his good friend Madonna, and her then-partner, Sean Penn. Adaya says Versace favored the penthouse suite, with wrap-around terrace views of the Pacific. Christmas dinner at the Shangi-La starts at $85 per person for four courses, ocean and beach views included. Book: rooms from $300/night.

2. The NoMad Los Angeles

nomad los angeles restaurant
CREDIT: BENOIT LINERO

Philip Pavel was the general manager at the Chateau Marmont for more than two decades before venturing downtown to open the NoMad LA earlier this year. The celebrity clientele has followed suit, with JAY-Z and Beyonce requesting food from the NoMad’s restaurant for their last Oscar party, and Gwyneth Paltrow seen frequenting the hotel as well. As beloved for its elegantly decorated rooms as it is for its vibrant restaurant and bar scene, the hotel, located in a former Bank of Italy building, is celebrating the season with a cocktail pop-up by Bar Director Leo Robitschek and a roster of guest bartenders from Los Angeles (including Devon Tarby of the Walker Inn, Aaron Polsky of Harvard & Stone, and Christine Wiseman of Broken Shaker). They will also have a special menu on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Book: rooms from $228/night.

3. The James NoMad (New York)

james hotel new york review nomad
CREDIT: James New York

Not to be confused with the NoMad LA, the James is located in the heart of New York, at the corner of 29th and Madison, and recent guests include Shay Mitchell and Joe Manganiello. This season, the James is offering a “Digital Detox” program that is great as a gift for someone who needs to unplug and unwind. Upon arrivals, guests lock their devices in a clear and portable container which remains in their room throughout the stay, preferably untouched. The well-appointed rooms are stripped of all electronics, including the TV and alarm clock to make sure guests can really “unplug.” Instead, guests are encouraged to take advantage of the hotel’s wellness offerings (including guided meditation and yoga), dive into their favorite book, or truly explore New York during the holidays without digital distractions. For each night that technology goes unused during the stay, The James NoMad will offer 10% off that night’s rate. Book: rooms from $169/night.

4. The Beekman Hotel (New York)

beekman hotel deals review rates
CREDIT: Simon Lewis Studio

Lovingly restored to its former glory, the New York City landmark remains an architectural beacon in a city full of them. Occupying a building first erected in 1881, the heart of The Beekman is its soaring, nine-story Victorian-era atrium, illuminated by a one-of-a-kind pyramidal skylight that’s been meticulously brought back to life. Now owned by the Thompson Hotels group, the Beekman has become a favorite of the fashion set, having hosted events for everyone from Maison Martin Margiela to Valentino. During the holidays, the hotel serves as a destination in itself, with a Christmas tree, lights and decorations welcoming guests in for a stay, or for a meal at chef Tom Colicchio’s acclaimed restaurant, “Temple Court.” Book: rooms from $299/night.

5. The Proper Hotel (San Francisco)

proper hotel san francisco review rates lobby
CREDIT: Proper Hotel

The Proper Hotel takes over a 1909 flatiron landmark building in San Francisco, keeping the vintage spirit of the era alive, while updating the property with modern and graphic design cues curated by famed American designer Kelly Wearstler. Located in the city’s Mid-Market district – at the triangle of McAllister, Market and Seventh Streets — the Proper offers a lively collection of dining and public spaces (including a popular rooftop) in addition to its well-appointed rooms and suites. The hotel is offering a “Belle Epoque Package” for New Year’s Eve. The ultra exclusive offering starts at $3500 and includes a premiere suite for two nights, an in-room couple’s massage, dinner and wine pairing on December 31, access to a Moulin Rouge-inspired party, a bottle of Dom Perignon, and breakfast in bed on New Year’s Day. And yes, you’ll get a 4pm late checkout to ward off any hangover from the night before. Book: regular rooms from $200/night.

6. The Jeremy Hotel (Los Angeles)

jeremy hotel rooftop harriets review
CREDIT: The Jeremy Hotel

The crowning glory to the Sunset Strip’s Jeremy Hotel is Harriet’s, a 1920s-inspired rooftop bar that has become the go-to spot in the city for a casual drink, business cocktails or a memorable night out. Designed by John Sofio of Built, Inc., and operated by The h.wood Group (the LA-based hospitality company behind buzzy spots like Delilah, Bootsy Bellows and Poppy), the impeccably-decorated space is sophisticated yet gracious, with rich textures and marble accents serving as a warm and chic contrast to the breezy, open-air space. Like Harriet’s, the Jeremy offers panoramic views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills, and offers an inviting, contemporary alternative to the stately hotels that have dotted West Hollywood for years. Book: rooms from $249/night.

7. Viceroy Los Cabos (San Jose Del Cabo)

viceroy los cabos review rates
CREDIT: Viceroy Los Cabos

If you’re looking to venture out of the country this season (but not too far out), you’ll want to consider a stay at the Viceroy Los Cabos. Opened this past May, the beachfront property has topped multiple year-end lists as one of the best new hotels in the world. The hotel’s architecturally-inspired design draws inspiration from the Sea of Cortes, whose crystal blue waters face the property and greet guests at every turn. The hotel also boasts an incredible range of activities (including a weekly tasting of traditional Mexican spirits, an opulent spa, and a New Year’s Eve weekend music festival), that fuses modern luxury with authentic Mexican culture. For the wellness crowd, the Viceroy’s state-of-the-art fitness center is curated by L.A.-based celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, who has worked with Kanye West, Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga, among others. Book: rooms from $350/night.

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